Barbara Laurie Sobotka passed away peacefully on Monday, September 11.
Barb was born in Buffalo, New York, on August 12, 1951. In her early childhood, Lori’s family moved to Salem, her father’s hometown, where Barb attended St. Paul’s School and graduated from Salem High School in 1969. She attended Thiel College and graduated in three years. During the summers of high school and then college, she attended the University of Avignon, Avignon, France, which began her lifelong love of that country.
After graduation, Barb worked as a social worker and then became a full-time stay-at-home mom to her son, Graham. At the time of her death, Barb was CEO of Lowry Supply Company, which was founded by her beloved father, Raymond, in 1953.
Barb was incredibly smart, had a razor-sharp wit, and was endlessly talented. Over the course of her life, her close friends and family watched her acquire and master skills such as sewing, knitting, stained glass, cooking and decorating. She will forever be remembered for her fruitcakes and candy at Christmas, and she was determined to continue the tradition after she was gone. She enjoyed doing projects for those close to her and teaching what she was passionate about.
Throughout her adult life, Barb traveled Europe and particularly loved her time in France. She was a wealth of knowledge and information and inspired a love of those places in the people who were fortunate enough to go with her.
Barb was a devoted mother and loved spending time with Graham. They shared many interests and always sought to improve each other and learn new things from each other. She urged him to always be a role model and put others first; The ideals she lived by every day.
Barb was a fiercely loyal friend who kept a close circle of people around her and lived by the motto, “You always know where you stand with me.” In recent years, Christy Edwards, Barb’s closest friend, has become her rock. Christy always offered Barb a helping hand, but most of all their friendship was constant. Barb always kept pets as companions and her animals were a priority to her, always by her side.
Barb was preceded in death by her mother and father, Raymond and Susan Lowry: and her beloved aunt and uncle, James. “a lock” And Joyce Laughlin.
She is survived by one son, Graham T. (Gracie) Sobotka; Her brother, Christopher Lowry of Salem. and her sister, Nancy (Mike) Mahon, of Punta Gorda, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, donations on her behalf may be made to the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center at https://my.clevelandclinic.org/giving or Fairfield Animal Hospital, 1126 Village Plaza, Columbiana, Ohio 44408.
Calling hours will be 4-7 p.m., Monday, September 18, at Stark Memorial Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 19 at St. Paul Catholic Church.
If you can’t attend, join us for free “Hugs from home” Program at www.starkmemorial.com/hugs-from-home.
To view Barb’s obituary or send condolences, visit www.starkmemorial.com.